Susanna Young says that while she has accomplished a great deal at ASU, she credits mentors, peers and friends that have helped along the way.
“A lot of what I have been able to do wouldn’t have been possible without a team. That has been a huge part of my education,” she says. “We all have the same passion, and working together can make it happen.”
Growing up, Susanna would work on projects with her father and says he could always explain how things worked. She wanted to be able to do that. She learned about engineering at ASU through the METS program.
“I chose mechanical engineering because I wanted to see what I had designed. I also knew I wanted to be able to help people. Not everyone has the opportunity to go to college. I am not the typical engineer. I like to build things, but I also want to help other people that don’t have the same opportunities and education that I do.”
In her junior year, Susanna found a match in EPICS, Engineering Projects in Community Service.
“I can’t say enough about how much I love that program. I am applying what I know to real world problems today,” she says. “It also rounded out my experience by getting me out of the normal discipline and into things like grant proposals, elevator pitches and planning.”
“EPICS gave me the confidence to know that as a student, I can affect change.”
Susanna is leading a team of engineering students to design a village for Malawi, Africa, using the retired but durable shipping containers lying idle in ports all over the world. Her team is using engineering technology to create shelter, clean water and healthcare facilities.
After graduation, Susanna will be traveling back to Africa to continue the EPICS project, first to Kenya then to Malawi. She was recently invited to attend an event with the prime minister of Kenya and says she is thrilled with the support for the project both here and in Africa.
“So many people have big plans and try to implement in other countries without talking to the people that are affected. To be able to actually speak to them and know they are interested is a great honor,” she says.
Susanna is part of the 4+1 Accelerated Program and will return to complete her master’s next year.